Wednesday features a two-game slate starting at 5:02 p.m. ET.
Today’s slate is loaded with quality starters on DraftKings:
- Stephen Strasburg (R) $9,400, WSH @ LAD
- Walker Buehler (R) $9,000, LAD vs. WSH
- Jack Flaherty (R) $7,400, STL @ ATL
- Mike Foltynewicz (R) $6,000, ATL vs. STL
Strasburg is the most expensive starter on the slate, and he’s coming off a brilliant performance in Game 2 of this series. He limited the Dodgers to just one run over six innings while recording 10 strikeouts.
That said, asking him to shut down the Dodgers again is easier said than done. They crushed right-handed pitching during the regular season, ranking second in wRC+ and first in ISO. They’re currently implied for 4.0 runs, which is the top mark on the slate. Strasburg is also a +152 underdog, giving him easily the worst Vegas data among today’s starters. That’s not ideal for the most expensive pitcher on the slate.
He also ranks third among today’s starters in K Prediction and is projected for greater than 40% ownership on DraftKings. He’s a pretty strong fade candidate.
Buehler is opposing Strasburg at home, and he’s been really tough to beat there over the second half of the season. He pitched to a 2.48 ERA and 2.84 FIP at Dodger Stadium following the All Star break while averaging 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings. The Dodgers’ pitching staff is one of the best in the league, but Buehler is clearly their ace.
His 3.1 opponent implied team total and -165 moneyline odds both rank first on the slate, while his 6.1 K Prediction ranks second. He also leads all starters with seven Pro Trends on DraftKings.
The Nationals are far from an easy matchup, but they have been much less effective against right-handed pitching this season.
It’s tougher to determine which pitcher has the edge in the other contest. Flaherty has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball since the All-Star break, posting a ridiculous 0.91 ERA and 11.23 K/9. Foltynewicz has the benefit of pitching at home, and he limited the Cardinals to just three hits over seven scoreless innings in Game 2 of this series. Overall, both pitchers own identical marks in opponent implied team total (3.8 runs) and moneyline odds (-104). This is a true toss-up.
Strikeout upside could be what ultimately decides this matchup, and Flaherty has the edge in that department. He’s been a much better strikeout pitcher over the past 12 months — he’s averaged roughly 2.5 more strikeouts per nine innings that Folty over that time frame — and he has the better matchup for strikeout purposes. The Braves’ projected lineup has whiffed in 26.5% of at bats over the past 12 months, so Flaherty can do some damage in this contest.
- 1. Joc Pederson (L)
- 2. Max Muncy (L)
- 3. Justin Turner (R)
- 4. Cody Bellinger (L)
- 5. Corey Seager (L)
Total Salary: $21,500
You would almost never consider stacking against Strasburg on a normal DFS slate, but this is not a normal slate. All four teams are fighting for their playoff lives, and each team is sending an ace-caliber starters to the mound. With that in mind, there really are no obvious stack targets.
That said, the Dodgers do rank first in implied team total and Team Value Rating on DraftKings, so they seem like the best option on the slate.
Pederson stands out as the projected leadoff hitter. He has some of the most extreme batting splits in baseball, and he’ll be on the positive side of those splits today. All 36 of his homers have come against right-handers this season, and he’s posted a 173 wRC+ when facing a right-hander at Dodger Stadium. He has just one hit over 11 career at bats vs. Strasburg, but that one hit was a HR.
If you’re looking to go in a more contrarian direction, consider stacking the Cardinals. They own the No. 2 stack on FanDuel:
- 1. Dexter Fowler (L)
- 2. Kolten Wong (L)
- 3. Paul Goldschmidt (R)
- 6. Matt Carpenter (L)
Total Salary: $11,900
The Cardinals top stack is really affordable at just $11,900 on FanDuel, which greatly increases their appeal. The starting pitching options don’t get nearly the same price reduction during the playoffs as they do on DraftKings, so it’s still tough to fit in a top-end starter and pay up for bats.
Foltynewicz has been markedly better over the second half of the season, but he’s still the least imposing pitcher on the slate. He was sent down to Triple-A after a brutal start to the year, so it’s not like he’s infallible. Overall, he finished the season with a 4.54 ERA and 4.97 FIP, and he also allowed an average of 1.77 HRs per nine innings.
Carpenter isn’t projected to occupy a premium spot in the lineup, but he’s someone who can still do some damage in DFS. He routinely owns some of the best Statcast data in the league, and he’ll be on the positive side of his splits vs. Folty. Carpenter has had a disappointing year, but he’s still capable of finding the seat vs. a right-hander.
Adam Duvall stands out as one of the better value bats to target on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $2,500, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 99%. That said, he is expected to bat fifth in the lineup — which is historically the cutoff for lineup spots that provide a positive expected Plus/Minus — and he’s a viable power hitter for his salary. He’s posted a .250 ISO vs. right-handers over the past 12 months, which ranks third on the Braves.
It seems unlikely that people will go out of their way to target the Nationals today, which definitely increases their appeal on a small slate. They have the toughest matchup vs. Buehler, but all of the matchups are tough; their implied team total of 3.1 runs isn’t drastically lower than the Dodgers’ slate-best mark of 4.0.
Anthony Rendon is also one of the better pure values on DraftKings, where his $4,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 87%. He posted a 153 wRC+ vs. right-handers during the regular season, so he doesn’t figure to be overmatched by Buehler.
Good luck, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more in-depth MLB analysis.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our industry-leading DFS-focused news blurbs.
Pictured above: Dodgers SP Walker Buehler (21)
Photo credit: Wendell Cruz-USA Today Sports